“We delivered another strong earnings quarter,” says William F. Austen, Bemis president/CEO. “All operating segments performed within our range of expectations and met our Agility objectives. Our U.S. business remains strong, reflected in increased sales volume and operating profit compared to one year ago; we continue to strengthen our operations and lay the foundation for long-term growth through our short-run business initiatives. Our Latin American business continues to execute cost improvements while the business laps the impact of the conversion of certain laundry detergent packaging. Our Rest of World business remains very strong, reflected in operating profit margins that increased 200 basis points versus last year, driven by organic sales growth in our healthcare packaging business and solid operational performance across the segment.
“Our teams did a great job this quarter of focusing on running our business and delivering our financial plans; I applaud them for not letting our pending merger with Amcor be a distraction. The operational, commercial, and administrative improvements we have executed through Agility are apparent in our results and will continue to provide long-term benefit. Bemis is well-positioned to continue progressing in the future.”
Proposed Amcor Ltd. merger
On August 6, 2018, Bemis announced a plan for an all-stock combination with Amcor to create the global leader in consumer packaging with the footprint, scale, talent, and capabilities to better serve customers around the world, drive significant value for shareholders, create enhanced opportunities for employees, and deliver the most sustainable innovations for the environment.
Austen says, “We believe combining these two organizations will drive significant value for shareholders, employees, and customers over the long-term. Bemis shareholders will have the opportunity to benefit from the expected increased dividend, which nearly doubles from Bemis’ current dividend, and the value creation driven from not only the $180 million of cost synergies identified as part of the transaction but also additional potential revenue synergies from cross-selling opportunities. We look forward to creating value for our stakeholders through this combination.”
Timothy M. Manganello, board chairman of Bemis, adds, “The Bemis Board unanimously supports our pending combination with Amcor and believes it maximizes value for our stakeholders.
“On behalf of the Board, I thank Bill Austen and his team for their strong leadership, thoughtful guidance, and true dedication to Bemis and our associates over the years. Bill has courageously led our company through much change, including the recent successful implementation of Agility to fix, strengthen, and grow this business. Because of Bill’s leadership and foresight, Bemis is well-positioned to succeed in its next chapter in combining with Amcor to create the global leader in consumer packaging.”
As previously announced, Bemis’ Special Meeting is scheduled for May 2, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. EDT (9:00 a.m. CDT) at The Langham, Chicago, 330 North Wabash Ave., Chicago, IL. All shareholders of record of Bemis’ common stock as of the close of business on March 20, 2019, will be entitled to vote their shares either in person or by proxy at the Special Meeting. The transaction is expected to close May 15, 2019.